The Null Device

Ding dong, the witch is dead

Arch-terrorist supervillain Saddam Hussein captured; he was found hiding in a "spider-hole" under a farmhouse, during an operation named after a 1980s teen Soviet-invasion movie. It is still not clear whether he'll face trial in Iraq or be spirited off to Guantanamo or somewhere.

Meanwhile, war skeptic and Scottish lefty scifi writer Charlie Stross thinks that the capture of Saddam may be a turning point, and not in a good way; with the Beast of Baghdad safely in a cage, the various Iraqi factions' main concern now may be the US occupation:

Saying "ding dong, the wicked witch is in custody" is a dangerously naive reaction to this kind of news. By way of a thought experiment, I suspect a good metaphor is this: imagine it's November 1945, and Adolf Hitler has been dug out of a cellar, alive, in the US occupied sector of Germany, where he has been coordinating sporadic resistance attacks. He goes on trial at Nuremburg and is in due course sentenced to hang. What, sixty years later, would his historical record have been like? And more importantly, what, twenty years later, might the German people have made of a leader who put up a spirited defense in a kangaroo court, rather than taking the coward's way out of the consequences of his actions by shooting himself?

I wonder whether they can afford to put Saddam on open trial, either in Iraq or elsewhere, for this reason and because of incriminating revelations he could make.

There are 12 comments on "Ding dong, the witch is dead":

Posted by: Nostradamus http://www.cocaineinmotion.com/tmblog Mon Dec 15 05:46:38 2003

Hey now...Red Dawn was a fabulous movie. I've seen it at least twice. Haha.

As for Saddam...what kind of "incriminating revelations," could the man make? And about who exactly?

Posted by: acb http://dev.null.org Mon Dec 15 10:03:39 2003

His time as a CIA asset, or as one US leader put it, "our son of a bitch" perhaps?

Posted by: PEL http:// Mon Dec 15 17:37:31 2003

exactly, he could raise a defence that he was essentially a tool of the U.S. and try to lead evidence of their involvement in some of the messes of the past like the iran/iraq war.

Posted by: Nostradamus http://www.cocaineinmotion.com/tmblog Mon Dec 15 21:26:49 2003

I really doubt Saddam would ever admit to such (dubious) things. His culture is one that is obsessed with image and appearances. I think he's smart enough to realize that he will never be aquitted of his crimes so he'll go out with a defiant bang in court. I just can't understand why he did't save them the trouble and take the 9mm solution.

By the way, don't give the CIA so much credit. Saddam may have fit their purposes in playing two regional powers off against each other, but calling him an "asset" is going a bit too far.

Posted by: msg http:// Tue Dec 16 00:50:46 2003

The early feed on the '9mm solution' images would have been stunning eh? Instead of looking like some urban homeless guy or John Walker Lindh's uncle. Blood and brains! Live! Sort of! Kinda, makes a, man, feel, manly just, thinkin' 'bout it, eh? The moral filth in which Saddam operated has not been sanitized by his capture. None of this is about morality, it's biology pure and simple. Biology with a morality gloss. Saddam was a threat to the more powerful. Saddam was defeated. And now serves a PR function in the maintenance of power. Next.

Posted by: Ben http:// Tue Dec 16 02:41:49 2003

He can use the 'Noriega' defence, but look where it got the poor general.

It's never been a secret that he was a close US ally, I don't know why people still try to make an issue out of it.

With a bit of luck he'll end up hanging from a lamp-post in Tehran.

Posted by: Ben http:// Tue Dec 16 02:41:50 2003

He can use the 'Noriega' defence, but look where it got the poor general.

It's never been a secret that he was a close US ally, I don't know why people still try to make an issue out of it.

With a bit of luck he'll end up hanging from a lamp-post in Tehran.

Posted by: Nostradamus http://www.cocaineinmotion.com/tmblog Tue Dec 16 03:45:36 2003

"Saddam was a threat to the more powerful. Saddam was defeated. And now serves a PR function in the maintenance of power. Next."

Its very interesting how quickly people forget how heinous a man Saddam really was... Yes, I was opposed to the war to begin with, but I really don't feel an ounce of sympathy for Saddam. The man was a power hungry murderer and he deserved what he got.

As for him being a "close US ally," that friends, is quite debatable. He and the US may have manipulated each other to further their own ends but never was the man considered a "close American ally," by the powers that be.

Posted by: Ben http:// Tue Dec 16 15:34:39 2003

The US gave him everything short of Nuclear weapons, and that's only because the Israeli's bombed his reactor back in the 80s.

I don't know what you consider qualifies one as a close US ally, but Iraq was always (up until the Saudi's paid Bush Snr several times his weight in gold) as closely aligned with and supported by the US as any country on Earth.

Posted by: Nostradamus http://www.cocaineinmotion.com/tmblog Wed Dec 17 00:40:35 2003

Ben: You are mistaken sir. I contend your statements are false.

Posted by: Michael S. http://beebo.org Wed Dec 17 06:42:04 2003

"The US gave him everything short of Nuclear weapons ..."

I think you'll find Iraq got far more from the U.S.S.R. and France. Scud missiles, T-74 tanks, etc. are Russian. France also sold Iraq two nuclear reactors.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3324053.stm

Posted by: Alex http:// Wed Dec 17 14:19:53 2003

Some people say that I'm a bad guy They may be right, they may be right. But it's not as if I don't try I just fuck up, try as I might.

But I can change, I can change! I can learn to keep my promises, I swear it! I'll open up my heart and I will share it Any minute now I will be born again!

Yes I can change, I can change! I know I've been a dirty little bastard I like to kill! I like to maim! Yes, I'm insane! But it's okay, 'CAUSE I CAN CHANGE!

It's not my fault that I'm so evil It's society, society. You see my parents were sometimes abusive And it made a prick of me.

But I can change, I can change! Satan: But what if you never change? What if you remain a sandy little butthole? Hey Satan! Don't be such a twit Mother Teresa won't have shit on me!

Here I am, just watch me change Here you go, I'm changing!

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